Clouds selectively erasing the stars at dawn. A strong inversion layer: traffic noise from the interstate mingles with barred owl calls.
Dawn. I watch the stars fade then brighten again, as a thin veil of cloud I hadn’t noticed moves off like a lizard’s third eyelid.
A clear dawn sky, with the crescent moon like Orion’s boomerang just missing Castor and Pollux. The widely scattered chirps of migrating birds.
Mercury rises just as the stars begin to fade. A jet flies under it. A lone goose flies over it. I look away and lose it in the dawn sky.
The last star blinks out just as rain begins to tap on the roof. A spring pepper calls. Dawn begins to seem like a possibility.
Cold and clear. Stars fade as the ground fog grows, partly lit by the crescent moon, partly by the dawn.
In the dark of the moon, the luminance of stars. From town, a wailing of fire sirens, their literally compelling music an eerie, out-of-sync duet.
Up before dawn. A few stars glimmer through the fog. Deep in the grass, the pale lights of glowworms brightening and dimming.
At 5:15, I’m startled by the dark sky, the closeness of the stars. At daybreak, seven deer stand within a stone’s throw of the porch.
How is it the stars, glittering as brightly as I’ve ever seen them, can begin to fade before the first perceptible lightening of the sky?
Warm and windy. I’ve been staring at the same dim star for five minutes now. The roaring on the ridge drowns out every other sound.
So quiet, I could be in the middle of nowhere: nothing but the slow trickle of the stream and the gurgling of my belly. A few faint stars.